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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Tweets For Justice:

What is a “lead plaintiff” or “class representative”?


The term “lead plaintiff” is synonymous with “class representative” and “named plaintiff.” It refers to the person or entity that files the class action lawsuit. When a U.S. court decides to certify a class, the court also appoints a lead plaintiff or class representative to prosecute the lawsuit on behalf of the members of the class. An individual person who was aggrieved by the defendant, a group of individuals, an investment fund, or another legal entity can serve as lead plaintiff. In a securities class action to recover damages from a defendant that made a material misrepresentation or omitted material information from public reports in relation to a publicly traded stock, a U.S. court will appoint the person who suffered the largest financial losses to serve as the lead plaintiff, as required by the federal Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In Sweden, the class representative or lead plaintiff is simply the person who files the class action (or grupptalan) lawsuit – the Swedish court is not required to certify the class or appoint a lead plaintiff.